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Troops from area arriving at Fort McCoy

Lt. Col. Scott St. Sauver, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Erik Arne, members of the 1-151st Field Artillery, prepare their flag to be cased during a transfer of authority ceremony Friday at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. (Submitted photo)

MONTEVIDEO -- Area communities are looking forward to welcoming back soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery possibly by the Easter holiday.

The first wave of soldiers was scheduled to arrive at Fort McCoy, Wis., on Sunday, following their 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to information from the Minnesota National Guard.

The battalion completed a transfer of authority ceremony Friday at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

The soldiers will undergo medical and administrative processing at Fort McCoy before they return to Minnesota.

Their exact return dates to Minnesota will be released as soon as they become available. The communities that are host to the units are planning to host welcome back events for the troops once the schedule is known.

The 1-151 FA includes a Headquarters and Headquarters Battery based in Montevideo; A Battery in Marshall; B Battery in Madison and Olivia; C Battery in Morris and Ortonville; and the 175th Forward Support Company in Appleton.

Headquartered at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, the unit provided convoy security and force protection for logistical supply convoys from Kuwait to forward operating bases throughout Iraq.

1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery notable accomplishments include:

- Successfully completed 591 combat missions traveling more than 1.9 million miles without accident or injury.

- Sustained an operational readiness rate of 99.63 percent throughout their deployment.

- Received the 1st Theater Sustainment Command Safety Award.

- Conducted 127 soldier reenlistments while deployed.